hug eachother

It’s Older Children’s Camp, and we are tired.

My staff has been here for six weeks, and we’ve been working hard. It has been a terrific summer, and everyone has brought their best game… but we’re feeling it. The long, hot days are catching up. Our clothes have that dank, musty smell and feel from living at camp all summer – and so do we.  We’re starting to feel the yearly crunch of longing for home and free time while also mourning that we only have 2 and a half weeks of camp left. It’s all the feels. And evidently Mercury is in retrograde, so there’s that.

We have 80 campers here this week, including over 20 campers that we have absorbed from another camp that suspended enrollment for a summer. They still wanted their campers to have the camp experience, so they sent them to us. The start of the week was a little rocky as we adjusted to having them and they adjusted to a completely new camp environment but as is so often the case here, after the first 24 hours we were more focused on the friendships we were forming than the differences,. We have LOVED having them here.

One of these campers in particular is a snuggle bug. He gives hugs freely and without reservation to whomever he approaches. As the director I find this particularly refreshing – I’m not often on campers’ radars except for when I make announcements and lead church. But I’ve gotten lots of hugs this week, and it’s pretty great.

This morning my head counselor and I were standing together waiting for everyone to arrive at church when this boy came up to us. Looping one arm around me and the other around her he pulled us together announcing, “group hug!” Kaitlyn and I obliged and squeezed his shoulders affectionately.  While we were hugging him he looked up and noticed that while we were both hugging him, she and I had not closed the loop to hug each other. He swung his eyes up to us and simply said,

“Can you guys hug each other?”

We laughed, and shook our heads, and pulled in for a proper group hug per his instruction.

But oh man. He got me.

I work with my head counselor all day every day, and I adore her. We talk and we laugh and we problem solve and we brainstorm. We do all kinds of things together – but we do not spontaneously hug.  And it’s not because I’m not happy to hug her – of course I am! It’s just that we are so busy doing other things that it doesn’t even occur to us.  If I’m being honest I’m pretty bad about remembering to hug in general. I get so caught up in my to-do list that there’s no time for hugging.

But that group hug was gold for me today. It gave me a moment to connect with one of our campers, but also to connect with one of my staff in a way that was different from all of the other connections we have all day.

So I’m sharing this story with you, just in case you’re too busy today and you forget to connect. Since you might not have a sweet-faced camper to tell you what to do, I figured I could share his instruction:

“Can you guys hug each other?”




One thought on “hug eachother

  1. Thank you Meghan. I love the message: slow down, pay attention , appreciate what is in front of you. HUG

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